aboutWe are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
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Chewy in the stream

Chewy in the river

Let me just say that I am not complaining.  I know how lucky we are.  We get to see amazing places, try incredible foods, and, when we come home, be with our wonderful pups, family, and friends.  And, yet, the word unsettled has popped up in my mind for the last week or two.

The unsettled feeling comes from a lack of routine, I think.  When we travel, we wake up every morning at 8:30, have breakfast, do errands or talk to family and friends on Skype, sightsee until 3:00, and then return back to the hotel/hostel/apartment to work on the internet for a couple of hours before going to dinner and an evening out.  We wake up and rinse and repeat.

Early morning at Wilderness View Cabins

Morning fog, view from our cabin

Now, we are in the North Georgia mountains, chilling in an absolutely ah-ma-zing cabin for the next month (but more on the cabin later), until we head off to Japan and either China or Malaysia.  This place is unbelievably, jaw-droppingly beautiful.  In the early morning, the navy blue sky turns to a creamy gray blue that lights up the millions of trees and we sit outside during the day, brave the pollen, and work on our computers.

View from Wilderness View Cabins

Day view of Appalachian mountains

Actually, if you look at our lives objectively, this is the most settled we have been in eight months.  We have a temporary home and aren't moving anywhere for four weeks.  That's 28 days of staying in one place, not getting in a bus, car, train, or plane, and just being here.  We have unpacked our bags and stuck them in an out-of-the-way closet.  We even bought hangers.  Hangers, people.  That means we took our clothes out of our bags and hung them up

It feels weird to me.  I keep waking up in the middle of the night wondering exactly where I am and then I remind myself that I am sleeping in the same place I was yesterday.  Being with our dogs 24 hours a day is such a luxury that we keep touching and kissing them as if we are afraid that they will disappear.  I feel like a man drinking water after the drought.


Abby lounging on the deck (those eyes just kill me)

And, I am trying to create some structure in a life that is intrinsically unstructured.  That means I have to stop going to bed at 1:00 in the morning after reading or watching junk television (oh, America, why is your television so bad and yet so addictive).  I need to wake up at a reasonable hour and not laze about until noon.  I need to get back into the habit of constantly exercising my body and my mind.

I have set a goal: I am going to write (at least) 1000 words per day for the next month beginning yesterday.  That means that I will hopefully definitely be writing more blog posts, guest posts, articles, and maybe even working on that Great American Novel lying dormant in the back of my mind.  And, because the Internet is awesome, it turns out that there is a website to spur on people with similar goals --- it is called the 1000 Words a Day Challenge.

Sunset at Wilderness View Cabins


I have never done a public writing challenge like this --- or even a public dieting challenge or exercise challenge or whatever.  When I make goals, I normally bottle them within me and, if I achieve them, then I get excited and tell people.  If I don't make my goal, I keep quiet and pretend that I never challenged myself.  Cheaters way out, huh? 

But, this is different.  I need to do this to keep myself from going insane, to make myself feel like I am doing something constructive, and to prove to myself that I can write on a regular basis.  And, this is in part why I am telling you.  Y'all are so gosh darn supportive and nice to me that if I cheat, I will feel like I am lying to you, too.  By May 21st, I will have hopefully definitely written 30,000 words.  I'll let you know how it goes.

04/22/2010 21:32
North Georgia looks amazing! What part of Japan are you going to? I grew up/lived there 10yrs, but only in Kyushu. I know what you mean about feeling unsettled though. Keep up the challenge, the rest of us will get a kick out of it :) more posts!
Aly's recent blog post: The Blue Sea At 10,515 feet
04/23/2010 16:24
Thanks Aly and thanks for the encouragement! We're still not sure about our Japan plans but we are going to figure it out soon we think and will post something about it once we get an idea of where we are going.
Akila's recent blog post: unsettled
04/24/2010 06:26
Akila - that is a great goal and one I really admire. The time and effort of being "creative" everyday is something I really underestimated before leaving on our trip. On another note I hope that our paths cross again in Japan, sushi anyone? We arrive into Tokyo on May17th and leave from Osaka on the 31st. So keep us updated on your plans.

On a slightly technical note, since arriving in China we have found out about all the blocked websites here. And unfortunately Google's photo site (Picasa) is one of them. And since Patrick told me you use Google to host your photos I was not surprised when your site did not like it's colorful self when we logged on from Guilin. I am looking forward to checking them out when we get to Japan. We are having the same problem with our photo albums, but not sure we have a huge Chinese following to warrant switching hosts.
Keith Sutter's recent blog post: Curiosities in Bhutan
04/24/2010 15:51
Enjoy your time in the mountains - it's so peaceful there! Enjoy time with your pups! We were just at my parent's house in Bahrain for 2 weeks and spent some time with our dog Bailey - so sad to leave him again! Looking forward to more of your posts and writing - good luck!
04/28/2010 13:46
Thanks Keith! Oh, I'm glad that we're going to be in Japan at the same time and hope we will be able to cross paths. And, thank you so much for the info on China. We are going to load software on our computer soon so that we can get around the Chinese google issues (hopefully that will be sufficient).

Thanks Manali and Terry! We are not looking forward to leaving the pups again and I can imagine that you guys had a tough time leaving Bailey behind, too. :( But, at least you got to see your family and Bailey in a fun spot.
Akila's recent blog post: on the bamboo train

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